Today’s first speaker was Helen Masterson of Masterson & Friends in Arvada, Colorado. Helen reminded us of her mention of the Greeley rodeo a couple weeks ago – this is rodeo month in Colorado and Cheyenne Frontier days start next week – a true Wild West experience
Rodeos began more than 100 years ago. This is the only major competitive sport to evolve from a working lifestyle. Events are based on the skills used by cowboys in everyday ranch life. Helen added that Cowgirls have competed in rodeos since 1904. Women excel at barrel racing because the competition is judged on horseback riding skills, not strength. The horse and rider have to work closely together displaying the same skills used to cut calves from the herd.
The name of the Greeley rodeo, The Spud Rodeo, changed some years ago, when the rodeo started – potatoes were a major crop in the area. As the rodeo grew the name changed to the Greeley Stampede – think about your business name. DO you need toa a slogan or a tag line to call people to action? Face it today – people just don’t think! As many of you know we are under a fire ban and yet two hikers asked fire fighters in Breckenridge how big of a fire they could build with the fire ban!
Moving on to that cowboy hat and the standard today – the Stetson. As a youth John Stetson worked with his father who was a hatter in Vermont. When John was diagnosed with tuberculosis – he left the hat-making business to explore the West. He found that early trappers and gold seekers were often wearing flea infested coon-skinned caps, John Stetson changed all that through the art of felting from the skin of animals. He created the wide brimmed hat that would keep the elements out, with a waterproof lining – the hat could double as a water bucket. The original cowboy hat could carry a half gallon but acquired the nickname, the ten-gallon hat. What is your businesses Stetson? Find that new niche or product – like Susan now offering home warranties and with Suzanne it is the gluten free offering – find yours!
Why is the cowboy boot designed the way it is? The pointed toes and high heel are designed for riding – not walking! The toes let the boots slide easily into and out of the stirrup and the heel keep the foot from slipping in the stirrup when roping and provide traction when roping on foot. As well the high top of the boot protects when out in the field from thorns and thistles. What common sales item or service can you promote in a way that people don’t think about? Such as Ginger (Willows Floral) – fresh flowers and bouquets – yes – but plants and flowers help reduce stress and create a feeling of wellbeing in an office or home.
Next, we have the saddle horn on the western saddle – it not there just for you to hold on to, although it can become a security handle when the ride gets rough. The horn was added to the western saddle as a tool for roping cattle. When a rider ropes a steer, he can loop his end of the lariat around the horn to absorb the force generated when the steer hits the end of the rope. The horn is there for one reason – hold the rope. If you are going to target an audience, you need to be specific. Take Joan Bridgette and her Westwoods Living magazine, it goes out to the families in Westwoods. The best specific ad Helen has seen was for Eyebobs it is in a publication that goes out to just the people of a specific organization. Eyebobs was founded by a woman who wears the golden key, knows the owl and the fleur-de-lis – the readers for the irreverent and slightly jaded.
Have you noticed the they promote rodeos differently these days – now the main advertising hook is the music and the rodeo is secondary. In America, today people love their music.
Know your audience and demographics. What is your hook – as with Laura Kilty and Shaklee it is Health.
Lastly is the branding iron – in calf roping, the rider ropes the calf, throws it to the ground and ties three of its legs together. Cowboys still catch calves this way for branding. Helen has a branding iron that is the form of HL which are her initials (Helen Lucille). What is your brand?
Lastly – never approach a bull from the front – a horse from the rear and never squat with your spurs on!
If you are looking for someone to write an ad or article the will catch your target market give Helen Masterson and Masterson & Friends a call!
Helen Masterson * Masterson & Friends Communications * 303.467.9680 * helen@guestguidepublications.com

Our second speaker today was Linda Schafer of GL Specialties in Golden, Colorado. Linda works the fun industry of promotional products and always bring in the latest products out there. Many times, Linda has a client come to with what they think they want and Linda tries to direct them to the product they need. She gave us the example of a client going to a trade fair, that was being held in a hotel and they wanted table clothes to cover the tables in their booth – with a trade show in a hotel environment the hotel usually supplies table cloths. Linda talked the client into going with table runners instead, for the price of one custom printed 8’ table cloth – they got four custom printed runners. These are the things that Linda has learned through her many years in the industry and the items that she can help you when picking the perfect promotional product for your event. Linda had another example of how she works with her clients who had purchased coolers from her for a golf tournament and then thought that they needed something else to put inside. Instead of selling them more promotional products Linda suggested that they go to Costco and get water, pop and some snacks. The perfect solution and cheaper than getting more promotional products.
Linda then spoke about a couple of the new items that she has seen, the first was socks, yes socks, they come with a variety of patterns and colors with your logo on the tag. A clever idea and one way not to be forgotten. The reliable old coffee cups are getting a new finish to them. One new look is a fade from dark at the bottom up to light – these really stand out in a crowd. The other look is a matte (not shiny) black surface with a bright color on the inside, with this you can put your logo on the outside and pick a color for the inside that matches your corporate image. Another item that is becoming popular is bandanas for pets – these come in a multitude of colors and sizes – put your logo on them and they are constantly advertising for you! One last item Linda discussed, as this is golf tournament season – instead of doing the typical sleeve of golf balls – think about doing a golf towel. These towels vary a lot in price because there are so many options with size, fabric color and imprint, but it can make a major impact.
Linda has been working in promotional products for several years and has found many suppliers that she trusts – these suppliers are mostly rated with 5 stars and many are here in the States. When looking into a product for you she will find the perfect 5 star company to creates the perfect promotional product for you!
Linda Schafer * GL Specialties * 303.456.9035 * glspecad@glspecialties.com * www.glspecialties.com